Cashew financiers

No doubt about it, these little French tea cakes, known as financiers, are one of my all-time favorite treats.  My husband and I just adore them and they are my favorite ways to use up egg whites.  Since I've been making plenty of ice cream this summer, I've had the chance to whip up a few batches.
This might be getting old...I've talked about this a lot!  I know it and I just can't help it. I've taken the original financier recipe and made hazelnutpistachio, and matcha versions.  I usually stick with the original but since I make these often enough, it's fun to change it up a little.  Basically, I'll make any excuse to make, eat, and post about these darling little cakes!
This time, I made a batch using cashew nuts.  At the very basic level, financiers are super moist sponge cakes made here with browned butter, egg whites, sugar, ground nuts (normally almonds but you can vary this like I do, this time with cashews) and a little flour.  I'm telling you, the result is magical!  It's nutty, it's super moist and tender, and full of this amazing brown butter flavor.

We adore cashews.  Growing up, my mother fried cashews for a chicken and cashew stir-fry dish that was, and still is, a family favorite.  I cook with it myself at home and it's a favorite nut to snack on (I used to keep just almonds on hand for snacking but in the past year, I started roasting batches of mixed nuts and keeping a jar on hand...everyone digs for the cashews!).  Lately, I've been thinking it would be fun to incorporate cashews a bit more into my baking.
The funny thing is, in this case, these cashew financiers don't taste all that different from the standard ones made with ground almonds.  In other words, they turned out utterly delicious!  

I often tuck a little chestnut cream (my stash of which has been replenished thanks to my sister hauling back several cans for me from her vacation in Europe) into our financiers and that is incredible!  This time, I put a little peach jam into one - you can use any kind of jam or even plop a piece of fruit inside.  And you see that runny center there?  Here's the thing - it's a little under-baked, on purpose.  
Peach jam inside...and an under-baked center, which I do often because it's really tasty!
We think that a gooey center, where the batter isn't quite baked through, is the best part (that and the crisp edges)!  It's very much like under-baking brownies or cookies for that soft, gooey center.  Maybe you wouldn't want to serve them this way to guests but for eating ourselves, we like them under-bake.  This is a matter of personal preference; if you prefer the cakes fully set, just leave the batter out at room temperature a little longer before baking and keep them in the oven a few extra minutes; you could test it with a cake tester.  They're fabulous either way.


I usually make a small batch of four financiers, baked in a regular muffin tin, and that requires 3 egg whites to start with.  It's a great use for egg whites after making ice cream!
Ground nuts, usually almonds, is a key part of the recipe.  Here, I used toasted cashews and I use my little mini processor to blitz it up.
This is the recipe that made me really appreciate brown butter.  I take 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter and let it cook and sizzle in a small skillet until browned.  It smells like hazelnuts.  And the best part of making these financiers, almost as good as eating them, is the moment when I stir the warm browned butter into the rest of the batter. The aroma is like the most amazing butterscotch/caramel...
Keep stirring and the brown butter will eventually fully incorporate with the rest of the ingredients into this batter.  
These are a nice make-ahead, as the batter can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking.  Even though they disappear quickly from my plate, they always feel like such a treat for breakfast.


Cashew Financiers
Adapted from the financier recipe found in Paris Sweets (please see this post of mine for more details) 

- Makes 4 financiers, baked in standard size muffin tins (you can easily double the recipe) -

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (50 g) ground cashews (I use toasted, unsalted) 
3 large egg whites
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Optional filling: Jam (such as peach or apricot)

Brown the butter: Place butter into a small skillet.  Cook over medium heat and bring it to a boil, swirling the pan occasionally.  It will sputter and sizzle as it cooks.  Continue cooking until butter turns a deep brown.  Watch closely since it can turn black in a matter of seconds.  Remove pan from the heat and keep it in a warm spot nearby.

Using a wooden spoon, mix sugar and the ground cashews together in a large saucepan.  Stir in the egg whites and place the pan over low heat.  Stirring constantly, warm the mixture until it turns runny, slightly white in color, and feels hot to the touch, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in flour.  Then gradually stir in the browned butter until incorporated. 

Transfer the batter into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface.  Chill for at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat 4 cups of a standard size muffin tin with baking spray.  Fill each cup using an ice cream scoop.  [If using optional filling, fill a cup about 2/3 of the way, add a teaspoon or so of jam, then cover with more batter.) Bake until financiers are golden, feel springy to the touch, and the tops have domed and opened up a bit, approximately 12-14 minutes.

Turn the financiers out (using a blunt knife if necessary) to cool on a cooling rack. They are best eaten the day they are baked, and even better fresh and slightly warm from the oven.  Just cooled to room temperature, the corners are especially crisp.


34 comments:

  1. These look and sound awesome! And that filling!

    Sues

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that you're not afraid to mix it up with this recipe! Your financiers always look so good. That creamy center looks so good to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I make these often enough that I don't mind changing it up! It usually comes out so amazing regardless...but ultimately, the ground almonds with chestnut cream is our fave.

      Delete
  3. These look delicious- the center is awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I'm sure there are people who might not want that wet center but it's like an automatic self-filling. : ) It's great!

      Delete
  4. These would be divine! I prefer the flavour of cashews to almonds too so I'd gravitate towards these! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cashews are so buttery and delicious. I was surprised the financiers came out tasting much the same as it is with almonds...so good regardless.

      Delete
  5. I bet the cashews make it extra sweet and delicious. Love your crosscut of your cake to show the delicious centre, it is the best part! Don't you think it is funny that your baking and I am at the wok . It is so funny how roles change... Wishing you a super week my friend! Sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cashews are such a mainstay...I'm happy to use some towards baking. And would you believe I don't even have a true wok! ha!

      Delete
  6. I have tried financiers with many different kinds of nuts, but have yet to try with cashew. These look super, Monica.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't they just delicious. The possibilities are endless, it seems. Better for us! ; )

      Delete
  7. OMG" That filling just looks and sounds awesomelicious, Monica! Super yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Under-baking, if you choose, pretty much makes a natural "filling". Thank you!

      Delete
  8. Oh I love that you used cashews!! They are one of my favorites! And man, there are so many different possibilities for financiers! I don't know which flavor to start with! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Versatile and never can go wrong with plain almonds. The cashew ones turned out much like the almond ones...I was surprised. Cashews are so darn tasty, aren't they! Definitely a fave...

      Delete
  9. Hi Monica, I am still pretty new at using nuts to bake with, cashews are one of my favorites though. Can't wait to bake these up for my family.....Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find that I love baked goods with some component of ground nuts with flour. I find pure nut-based cakes too heavy and rich for me almost. Thanks for stopping by, Cheri!

      Delete
  10. Oh, I just love that you made financiers with cashews! They're one of my favorites that we always dig for too :) And the brown butter and chestnut cream hidden inside is just the best surprise! Such a special treat with a cup of tea or coffee for those quiet moments :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love cashews. I keep snacking on them and appreciating them. Haha : )

      Delete
  11. Wow! These little cakes look amazing, Monica! It is very cool that you used cashew instead of almond. I love the gooey chestnut cream center. I just wish I could have some in my hands now. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The gooey center is totally delish...my family agrees it's the best part so I usually under-bake them a bit.

      Delete
  12. Wow - love them under-baked - that is so smart! I can't believe I haven't tried these yet. Love cashews and love cake so what am I waiting for??? Thank you Monica - I love your passion about these and baking. Have a wonderful (cooler) weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if everyone would dig it but it really is so tasty, like an under-baked brownie is. I do seriously love these little cakes, as you can tell. ; )

      Delete
  13. Underbaked on purpose, eh? Maybe I should try this. I usually NUKE everything in my oven, so it's all dry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's easy to tell...They're set but you'll see some moist cake right beneath because it tends to crack a bit on top at the end...or pop a cake tester in there and take it out when you like. We first discovered how the underbaked filling was so tasty by accident but realized we like it better this way! : )

      Delete
  14. These look like the perfect tea time snack! I've got to remember this recipe for the next time I have extra egg whites (I'm a little addicted to making crème brulee...)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a great thing with a cup of tea! And creme brulee! I like it a little too much, too. I got a blow torch last Christmas and it's been fun. : )

      Delete
  15. Your recipes and baked good always want to go get into the kitchen and bake it right away. I could have anything with cashews. They are amazing, especially filled with jam and lightly underbaked. I can only imagine biting into the crispy outer party, goeey sweet insides. Absolutely amazing.
    I need to make these.
    Hope you are doing well girl, hope the kids are settled in school. Mine have and just a busy few weeks.
    Happy weekend!!!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You described it perfectly, Asha! Totally how they are and taste! : ) I think you'd love it.
      Things have been busy and interesting the first week back! I think it will settle down in the next week or so. It's going to be a busy, and hopefully very good, year. Hope your kids have a wonderful year ahead!

      Delete
  16. Wow! These financiers sound sensational, Monica! Cashews plus financiers seem to be meant to be! (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love cashews so gotta make more excuses to eat them! ; )

      Delete
  17. Your enthusiastic, glowing recommendation of this recipe makes me so wish I could try it, but my nut allergies won't even allow me to be in the same room as some nuts (including cashews)! I love that you can change up this favorite recipe and still be delighted. The convenience of being able to make the batter ahead, would make this a great "company's coming for brunch" recipe. I will share this recipe with the nut-lovers in my life....they just can't bake the financiers when I am one of the brunch company! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry about your nut allergy! I hear about people becoming allergic to things later in life and I'm hopeful I never become allergic to chocolate or nuts! I love those two things. haha. Thank goodness there is so much deliciousness in the world so that we can all manage! ; )

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...